Mr. Cathy Is Truly True
When my children and I arrived at the Indianapolis Colts practice complex for an All-Pro Dad event, Chick-fil-A was - in my mind - just another restaurant chain with good food and a clever ad campaign. As we waited in line to enter the complex, the Chick-fil-A Cows appeared to visit kids and help alleviate the youngsters' boredom. Nice, but no biggie, I thought.
Then, this grandfatherly smiling gentleman toddled out to the line and began shaking hands and talking with families as if he needed our vote for something. All the while, Chick-fil-A representatives passed out stuffed cows and one employee even muttered, "We're supposed to give these away AFTER the event, but Mr. Cathy sure has a soft spot for children..."
Mr. Cathy spoke with my children like they were his own grandchildren for five or 10 minutes and hugged them during and after the photo I snapped of them together. He then went inside and blew us fathers away as the keynote speaker in that portion of the day. I was so moved by his comments and example that I fired off an e-mail to the Chick-fil-A corporate offices the next day. I simply praised Mr. Cathy for his faith, discipline, and work ethic. I assumed the e-mail would die and be deleted at the hands of a staffer. But a few weeks later, a package arrived in the mail and I opened it to find an autographed copy of Mr. Cathy's book, "Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People."
I have read that book numerous times and recommend it to others. But the gestures I've witnessed - both in person and through the U.S. Mail - are what exemplify Mr. Cathy and his kindness and love for others over profit. He has become one of my influences and heroes. I want to thank him for being himself, regardless of success, failure and responsibilities. God bless him - even more - every single day.